Social Class Symbols is a unique, interactive game to use with consumer behavior classes. It is a quick introduction or refresher for social class symbols and how people make purchases that reveal their life choices. It is a web page where the author discusses how a different website, "People Like Us: Social Class in America", was used as the basis for a consumer behavior exercise.
Type of Material:
Interactive on-line lessons which include: films; games, stories, additional personal resources, and a talk back section.
If this is done in a classroom setting, students would need a computer and access to the internet. If this is not the case, the instructor could run the games and request student input from the class.
The site requires Shockwave/Flash Player to run.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The author defines the learning goals as follows:
1) Identify personal items relative to social class and status,
2) Analyze components of personal belongs which relate to social class, and 3) Discuss the variability and complexity of social class and status symbols
Target Student Population:
Consumer behavior students seem to be the primary target marketing, but I could also see students of marketing and integrated marketing communications as well. Students should be at the major level of classes.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
The author explains that activities are used for an introduction to a lecture/discussion on social class and status. A strength is that it leads to another site that has some additional materials on these topics (e.g., video, activities). It includes many resources that are interesting and varied that the students would enjoy.
The author states "There are multiple resources on this site that can be used to further the discussion of social class." but I only see one resource which appears to link to the games.
Social class is a touchy subject, but it is necessary to learn how consumer tastes impact purchasing.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
It will be an enlightening learning experience, which allows participation and will contribute to deeper learning. Students would probably have fun working on the associated activities due to their engaging nature.
This would be a challenging activity to assess if student assessment were required.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
As an instructor, the mention of a "quick activity" is appealing for those instances where you need something fun to break up a lecture. My rating for this item is for the "People Like Us" site.
In the Description and Teaching Materials section, the author states "The site has three different games and activities related to social class.", but there is no mention of what site that is at this point. That would be a good place to tell the reader where to go for the game.
This module is located at http://serc.carleton.edu/sp/library/interactive/examples/48507.html, but does not have a link the the games mentioned until you get to the references at the very end. I was expecting some kind of link or explanation of the games on this page. Instead, the user was directed to a MERLOT link to http://www.pbs.org/peoplelikeus/. This review is based on the exercise.
Other Issues and Comments:
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